A Challenge to Finish the Great Commission

March 11, 2014

By Melissa McCutchan

CIU Student Writer

Columbia International University students were challenged to finish the task of making disciples of all nations during World Christian Week, Feb. 24-27.

The week featured chapel messages from keynote speakers Steve and Laura Smith, who serve as church planters in Asia using the Training for Trainers (T4T) church-planting method.

“I am hopeful as I look at this room, that I am looking at the last generation,” Steve said in Monday’s chapel. “God’s purpose for this generation is to finish what He has begun.”

The Hub, a student team in the College of Intercultural Studies, hosted Global Connect nights that included games, a photo booth, international food, and most importantly, a time for students to chat with visiting missionary representatives.

“I liked the connection made between students and missions representatives,” sophomore Hannah Lingenhoel said. “It really showed the unity of the body of Christ.”

The Smiths also held intensive training sessions for those interested in the T4T church-planting method, which has resulted in more than 1.5 million baptisms and more than 150,000 churches planted since it began in 2001.

The week concluded with a prayer day hosted by Student Missions Connection (SMC). After a final message from the Smiths, students walked to Moore Fitness Center for a time of prayer at themed prayer stations such as prayer for Muslims or for college campuses in America.

That afternoon, students participated in a Progress of Redemption Interactive Chapel, which took students from Genesis to Revelation. From a drama representing the fall of mankind in Genesis 3, to an on-stage painting of the crucifixion of Christ, students used their talents to tell the story of God’s redemptive plan.

“We just want everyone to be reminded of the gospel,” SMC member and junior Whitney Spradley said. “The gospel is the reason we do what we do.”

Thursday evening, CIU hosted a concert by a traveling Chinese Folk Orchestra from Qingdao University of Science and Technology. The orchestra director, Sun Pei Shan, explained the various Chinese folk instruments, which the orchestra then demonstrated with elegant songs.

World Christian Week was a time for students and faculty to be encouraged and to be reminded of God’s mission to all nations. 

“The goal of World Christian Week is to stir and connect the student body with God’s passion for the nations,” Hub member and senior Jamie Bennett said. “My team and I have been praying that CIU’s body will not forget that God has forever been on a mission of redeeming and advancing His Kingdom and that we should hastily join Him.”

See photos from World Christian Week 2014 at CIU's Flickr page: